Weighing In On
In the coming fight about the street performer topic, we will first need to define our terms about “performers”. In an effort to make this easier, I’ve broken folks into 2 basic categories: Boardwalk acts are either Performance Driven or Product Driven.
Performance Driven acts are the musicians, various characters in costume, acrobats, magicians, etc who perform an act. In exchange for this performance, people have the option of tipping in appreciation. I believe the 2nd Amendment does, and will always, protect these acts.
Unfortunately, even the pole dancer falls under this category; however, I will discuss more about her later.
The second category is Product Driven .. and I don’t consider these “acts”. These are folks who come to the boardwalk actually selling a product; this includes the sign painters, tattoo artists, the guy who makes hats, etc. … anybody who quid-pro-quo expects a certain priced payment for their product. These are businesses, not acts.
It’s these Product Driven folks who often are using air compressors and aerosol spray paints that create both a noise and an air-quality health problem. I’m surprised a guy like Mark Chase, a sign maker who uses spray paint, and himself wears a respirator to protect his health from the fume cloud he creates, is not treated differently than, say, the violinist who won his lawsuit against the city. I’m surprised that city lawyers have found no standing health law or OSHA regulation that could be used to bounce Chase and his fumes and bad attitude off of the boardwalk.
Boardwalk business owners are rightfully angry about Product Driven businesses being set up just meters away from their own, expensive real-estate. Product Driven businesses should be prosecuted differently, and more aggressively, than Performance Driven acts.
But what about that pole dancer? Well, obviously, she is intentionally pushing the 2nd Amendment to its very limits. If she just showed a little more skin, was a little raunchier, she could be busted for public indecency… but she’s just smart enough to avoid that. Look how she chooses to perform her act near Randy Hofman’s Biblical sand sculptures! She wants notoriety, and the press it brings. She’s pushing for a fight. Maybe she’s even pushing for a lawsuit?
I have one idea I’ve found from researching this subject. New York City has struggled with this issue for a lot longer than Ocean City. To deal with troublemakers like the pole dancer, or stupid opportunists like the costume character brigade, they have auditions for various designated spots around the city. This weeds out the garbage, and actually enhances the city by increasing the quality of the performers competing for those designated spots.
I want to help the city get in front of this issue. To do his properly, the city must first accurately define the problem and the players involved.
Accident Work Commended
We would like to make a comment about the accident at the Seaway Condominium on 72nd Street last week.
We would like to commend everyone involved in the cleanup of the portion of the building that was struck by a pickup truck at 3 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 21. From one of the residents who made the initial call to my wife who is on the board of the condominium association to the president of the board, and our maintenance man from resort services and management, who was on the scene within 30 minutes of the occurrence, also the police department, fire department, electrician, the inspector, the Town of Ocean City and especially Delmarva Power, the crew and the foreman for being on the site the time it took to restore the transformer and electric meters so the service could be turned back on.
Awesome, awesome, awesome. The Seabay Condominium Association thanks everyone involved.
Clara and Bob Wilhelm
Ocean Needs Respect
I love Ocean City and the waters that surround it. They are beautiful and inviting. Each summer my family spends countless hours surfing, fishing, body boarding and simply soaking up all we can while we are here for the summer.
A big part of our day is spent playing in the waves. We are experienced swimmers/surfers but we also have the wisdom to know the powers of the ocean and her currents. We never underestimate what she is capable of. If the water is too rough, we simply don’t go in. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who just do not understand it. Three nights ago, my son and I decided to head out for our evening body boarding. The waves were heavy at times but manageable enough. There was no one out there but two other surfers.
Around 7 p.m., two little girls ages about 9 and 10 showed up with oversized scuba goggles on their faces and their Sunsations’ foam boards. My radar went up immediately, being a mom. Their mom sat on the beach unaware of what was to happen and how far they were to be pulled out in the waves well over their heads. Before you knew it, the younger girl fell off her foam board and I realized she did not know how to swim. I took her and pulled her back in and told her that her mother did not want her out that far in the water.
Since the mother never got out of her chair and didn’t seem to know what was going on at all, I did not know what else to do to keep the child out of the water. I hoped those words might have kept her on the shore for her own good. The child stayed on the beach for five or 10 minutes then reappeared again out in the water this time without a board. By this time it was 7:30 p.m. Once again before she knew it, she was swept out into the deep and well over her head and this time she was really going under. I wondered if I could grab her before I could no longer see her under the darkness of the water. I quickly swam over, with my son to help and we put her on my board and took her back in. She got on her knees and started coughing up water.
This time the mother got up and came over nonchalantly. She said nothing to me. I don’t even know if she knew we had pulled the girl back in. It didn’t matter to me. I was just happy that the girl did not drown. I didn’t want a pat on the back. I wasn’t a hero. I was just a mom who cared. I’ve pulled in other kids before but never one so very close to drowning. It really stuck with me that night.
So I just want to send a message to everyone. Please don’t go out in the ocean when the lifeguards are not on duty if you are not experienced and please keep an eye on your children. I don’t want to have to pull in a lifeless little girl next time. I don’t want to think about the “what if I wasn’t there?” scenario. We don’t want to read about a summer drowning. We want the ocean to be a place of beauty for everyone to enjoy with only happy memories.
And God Bless our OC Lifeguards. You guys and gals are the best.
Wind Farm Questions
The recent article on the wind farm lease was short on specific facts and details, which everyone should question immediately.
The approval of seismic testing by BOEM is the first catastrophic impact to our regional tourist economy, the health of marine life and fisheries. According to the most recent BOEM fact sheet;
Seismic surveys use sound waves which are sent through the ocean floor to map the subsurface. These acoustic surveys are conducted to: 1. obtain data for hydrocarbon exploration and production; 2. aid in siting renewable energy structures by characterizing the ocean floor; 3. locate potential sand and gravel resources; 4. identify possible seafloor or shallow depth geologic hazards; and 5. locate potential archaeological resources and potential hard bottom habitats that should be avoided.
This renewable energy source begins its development with a highly-controversial, intrusive procedure that every ocean-based conservation group, protested adamantly against.
The questions that all Marylanders and Ocean City residents should ask of the project in the near future.
Where would a 1,450-megawatt power cord go? Answer: Under your beach and condo. Assateague Coastal Trust has a court injunction preventing impingement of that coastal zone with such development. Through the OC Inlet? A navigational hazard and danger to commerce.
Will I be able to see a five- or seven-megawatt wind turbine? Of course. These are large structures, with the hub height of 450 feet (not including blades). If you own or rent a condo, the view from an elevated platform will be enhanced. Note the wind turbine in Lewes is only 2 MW.
How much will the electricity cost generated from the wind farm? Interestingly, no estimate was given.
When will the project really begin? BOEM is far-behind in the collection of data and science for permit approval and there are numerous regulatory hurdles to overcome.
Is it true that the turbines and monopiles need to be completely removed after the projected life of the wind farm? Yes, 25 years is the best guesstimate for this expenditure, but because there are no working wind turbines, (ocean prototypes) in the Mid-Atlantic, engineers have only speculative data. Wind, salt, storm surges, hurricanes, superstores, ice and freezing temperatures all take a huge toll on mechanisms.
Will there need to be a transformer to change direct current to alternating current before entering the conventional power grid? Yes, again. These are buildings hundreds of yards long, which relay the final electricity before landfall. No mention of those yet.
Make no mistake about it, the generation of electricity is dangerous, costly and transforms oceans into a major industrial zones, with operations 24/7/365. Can we burn fossil fuels forever? No, but the impacts of wind energy development in the ocean must be explained in detail, measured at each juncture during the project and fully explained, without the public relations smokescreen currently in play.
Show Support Appreciated
The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce thanks you for this opportunity to let your readers know how much we appreciate the support from our members, the residents, visitors and businesses who made our 2nd Annual Car Show and Bicycle Parade a wonderful family event.
Congratulations to Executive Director Liz Kain-Bolen and Event Chair Amy Unger on a job well done.
Gwen L. Cordner
There are so many organizations that ask the community for their support many times a year and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City is one of them.
The club had its Annual Duck Race on Friday, Aug. 22 at the Frontier Town pool and the community again supported it. Kiwanis wants to thank the patrons and the businesses that made it possible. In addition to the three cash prizes of $1,000, $300 and $200 from the proceeds of tickets sales, local businesses donated prizes which were awarded to the remaining eleven winners.
Those prizes were donated by Rum Point Golf, Panera Bread, Wal-Mart, Frontier Town Water Park, Hooper’s Crab House, Victorian Charm, Mione’s Pizza, Ho Feng Garden, and two gifts each from Whisker’s Bar & Grill and Auto Plus & Marine. Thank you all for your continued support making it possible for the Kiwanis Club to support the youth of the community and other community needs.
(The writer is the president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City and chair of the 2014 Duck Race.)